, 6 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
People who have had ten minutes of training in #autism, perhaps over coffee as part of a larger training session on something or other, love periodically piping up, solemnly, that we must call autistic people 'people with autism'; that 'person first' language is key. /1
"We must not put the illness in front of the person," they trill. "Doing so reduces the person to their disease." They then sign off, satisfied by a job well done. 'I'm a better person for that," they purr contentedly to themselves. /2
Spend *any* time on #autistic Twitter and you'll immediately find a dozen saintlike autistic folk patiently explaining to these people that, in fact, this is not the preferred terminology in our community, and for damned good reason. /3
Firstly, and very importantly, autism is not a disease. Nor is it an illness or an affliction. Even 'condition' is a bit frowned upon. Connotations matter guys, and terms with deeply negative connotations for an aspect of our personality that is integral to us aren't cool. /4
Secondly, autism is us, we are autism. We don't catch it. It doesn't go away. It doesn't really get better (we just mask it better, the effort of which kills us). It simply *is*. You may as well say 'person with femaleness' or 'man with bisexuality'. It just feels wrong. /5
Thirdly, and finally, whenever we #autistic people try to set the record straight on this, we almost always end up being told arrogantly that no, we're wrong. That the ten minute training *told them* it's person first. And thus we see how autistic voices are valued. /end
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